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Posts for tag: Rheumatoid arthritis

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
November 04, 2020
Category: Health Care

Here’s how to tackle your rheumatoid arthritis joint pain

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, affecting around 1.3 million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis most often develops in women between the ages of 30 and 60. While there is no cure for RA, our St. Thomas and St. Croix orthopedic team can help you manage your symptoms to slow the progression of this chronic disease. At Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, Dr. Mary Olsen is here for you.

Here are some ways to get your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms under control.

Catch Some Nightly ZZZs

Getting quality sleep every night is important for everyone but particularly necessary for those with RA. Not getting enough sleep could worsen pain and make getting around even harder. You should aim to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. If you are having trouble getting quality sleep, talk with your St. Thomas or St. Croix doctor about treatment options and ways to improve your nightly bedtime routine for better-quality sleep.

Stay Active

You may be surprised to discover that regular exercise could help to alleviate some of the joint pain and stiffness you’re experiencing. Of course, you want to choose exercises that won’t put additional stress on the joints. Getting regular exercise can also improve sleep and reduce daytime fatigue. Look for low-impact exercise options like biking and swimming, as well as resistance training, to support healthy, strong muscles.

Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat can also contribute to inflammation and worsening joint pain. That’s why you must be eating a diet that is rich in anti-inflammatories and nutrients. This includes a variety of different colorful vegetables, spices (e.g. turmeric), fruits, and even yogurt. You want to avoid processed foods, as well as sugar. Not sure what to eat to improve your health? Talk with your doctor.

Take Your Medication

There are certain prescription medications on the market that can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness associated with RA. One of those medications is methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine. These medications can also slow the progression of the disease. If you are dealing with painful, tender hands and feet, some medications can help you get your RA under control.

If you are having trouble getting your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms under control, the orthopedic specialists at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists can help. We have offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix to ensure that you get the comprehensive orthopedic treatment you need. Call Dr. Mary Olsen at (340) 714-2845 or (340) 692-5000 for an evaluation.

By Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists
November 08, 2019
Category: Arthritis

Find out what living with rheumatoid arthritis really feels like.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect joints throughout the body as well as cause damage to the eyes, heart, rheumatoid arhtritisskin, and blood vessels. There are different types of arthritis, and here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Chase offers different ways to treat your arthritis depending on the type and severity. Here are the warning signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA),

  • Stiffness: One of the most common symptoms of RA, this stiffness can make you feel as if the joints aren’t as easily mobile as they used to be, especially in the morning. As you begin to move around in the morning, you may notice the joints loosening up a bit within a couple of hours.
  • Swelling: Fluid accumulation within the joints can also lead to puffiness, swelling, and tenderness in and around the joints.
  • Pain: Inflamed joints can really hurt, even when you’re not in motion.
  • Warmth: It’s also natural for affected joints to be red and warm to the touch due to inflammation.

These symptoms most commonly occur in the joints of the hands; however, RA can also affect the:

  • Feet
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Shoulders
  • Wrists
  • Elbows

Symptoms are often symmetrical, meaning that they affect the same joints on both sides of the body. Along with joint problems, you may also experience muscle aches, fatigue, and depression. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of RA, it’s important that you turn to our Saint Thomas orthopedic doctor for an immediate consultation. Since symptoms usually appear gradually over time, it’s natural for you to not immediately notice symptoms until you’ve possibly had RA for a year or more.

How is RA diagnosed?

When you come in for an evaluation, blood tests and x-rays may be performed to check for the presence of an autoimmune disorder and joint damage. Since symptoms often come and go, you may not be experiencing a flare-up during your consultation. That’s okay; we can still ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and perform the proper tests to rule out other disorders and illnesses that can mirror symptoms of RA.

Need care? Give us a call

Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas to ensure that the care you receive is never far away. If you are experiencing signs of rheumatoid arthritis, call one of our offices today for a comprehensive evaluation. For St. Croix, dial (340) 692-5000, and for St. Thomas, dial (340) 714-2845.